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Clarance, a 5-star boutique hotel in Lille founded by Aurélie Vermesse, SK 1986, is ranked 68th by EY and L’Express in their list of the top 200 French startups of 2018!

28 November 2018

Thanks to sourcing conducted by EY, the L’Express Entrepreneur of the Year Award shines the spotlight on the year’s best performing young startups. A large range of activities and employees (from 2 to 661 talents), clear ambition, and remarkable growth: those are the key characteristics of the 2018 winners, and among them are 3 SKEMA Business School alumni! In this article we focus on Aurélie Vermesse, SK 1986, founder of the   Hotel, in 68th place in the ranking (view the ranking):

Can you tell us what you got up to after SKEMA?

I had a pretty standard career path in FMCG marketing: marketing research at Nielsen, then product manager/group leader at Vandamme Pie qui Chante (Danone Group) and Mc Cain, then Category Manager at Auchan. I then joined the Mäder group as head of marketing and communications in the mass-market segment, which made store-brand paints for Leroy Merlin and Castorama. There, I climbed the career ladder until I became Managing Director.

Finally, I had a light bulb moment at Les Crayères in Reims in 2011. I packed in my job at Mäder, trained in hospitality management at IMHI, completed an MBA at ESSEC specialising in hospitality and got my Clarance project off the ground.

Tell us about the Clarance Hotel.

The Clarance is a 5-star boutique hotel in the Relais & Châteaux network, with a Michelin-starred restaurant that seats 40.

We have 19 rooms that are all different, with a décor based on the theme “There, all is order and loveliness, luxury, calm and voluptuousness”, from Baudelaire’s Invitation to a Journey.

Our establishment, located in the heart of Old Lille, has 3 focal points:

  • Art
  • Sustainable development
  • Belonging within our city


 What will be the challenges in your line of work over the coming years?

Attracting young people to our profession: recruitment and training

Customer satisfaction, particularly in the face of competition from Airbnb  and given the influence of TripAdvisor.

Related article: Cleany, founded by Alexandre Bellity, SK 2011, is ranked 49th by EY and L’Express in their list of the top 200 French startups of 2018!

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